webshit weekly

An annotated digest of the top "Hacker" "News" posts for the second week of April, 2018.

Credit Card Signatures Are About to Become Extinct in the U.S
April 08, 2018 (comments)
Credit card companies stop pretending to look at receipts. Hackerneuropeans crawl out of the woodwork to bemoan the backwards nature of the largest economy the world has ever known. Hackernews from around the globe chime in with vague memories and pointless recollections of their experiences at various bars. Later, Hackernews tries to reverse engineer the credit card industry, but stops short of reinventing it entirely, because Apple already did that and Hackernews ain't about to step to that.

AV1: A new general-purpose video codec
April 09, 2018 (comments)
Some nerds slap a new name on existing technology, add some irrelevant garbage, and shove it out the door. Hackernews explodes into a frenzy of speculation about whether anyone will ever notice, whether anyone will ever care, under which circumstances anyone might notice or care, and finally whether this is worth noticing or caring about at all. It is not.

Productivity
April 10, 2018 (comments)
Sam Altman takes a break from deleting Twitter meltdowns to tell people how he gets so much nothing done. The secret? Sleeping a lot, in expensive beds. Hackernews is grateful for the advice, since they're all very important people upon whose shoulders rests the fate of untold millions of 99-cent phone programs and GTD-based web apps. A gigantic web forum thread develops wherein Hackernews trades tips for dealing with the burden of being smarter than everyone else. Then they seek each other's advice about how to eat. Despite the flurry of worshipful admiration, Sam Altman does not deign to participate. Maybe you'll get noticed next time, Hackernews.

Non-profit’s $300 hepatitis C cure as effective as $84k alternative
April 11, 2018 (comments)
Some doctors create some medicine. You can't have any. Hackernews trades thinkpieces on why companies want to make money, then tries to explain to each other how the medical billing industry works. After bitching about Obama (again) for a few dozen pages, Hackernews decides it's cheaper to just die, but there are apparently ethical problems with this approach, none of which are deemed relevant to the discussion. The only important answers everyone agrees are necessary: whose fault is this, and how can we blame the government for it anyway?

How to Decide What to Build
April 12, 2018 (comments)
A wealthy idler posts almost a thousand words of contentless drivel, with random passages highlighted via javascript. Because this particular rando is in charge of handing out Y Combinator money, Hackernews takes the time to convert this meaningless noise into actionable advice. It's a hard task, but taking vague trash and using it to pretend you have your shit together is what Hackernews does best.

Google loses ‘right to be forgotten’ case
April 13, 2018 (comments)
Google loses a court case, but doesn't care enough to keep trying. Hackernews is concerned that government regulations might make their jobs slightly harder, and argues this is justification to get rid of the jury system, government oversight of human rights, government involvement in technology of any sort, and even the faintest possibility of Google being held accountable for anything, by anyone. Each of these positions is articulated, rebutted, and lost in a quagmire of hypothetical corner cases invented by cloistered techbros under assumed names.

Was there a civilization on Earth before humans?
April 14, 2018 (comments)
A magazine is worried about climate change. The shit in the headline is just a jumping-off point to suck in nerds. Hackernews shows up to ask more unanswerable questions... and even more easily-answerable questions, such as "does LIDAR penetrate dust."